It was only one night a year.
The wind had started to pick up and he had shivered the whole way there. His skin had gone blue under the light of the moon and he had started to complain. She told him he could turn back.
They never do.
She grinned. His silver pocket watch gleamed in the dim light but she couldn’t catch a glimpse of herself in the reflection.
The darkness filled with tiny orbs of glowing blue light that she recognized as clusters of will o’wisps. They were mischievous, evil spirits that enjoyed torment, and they had found him in the depth of the woods. They circled around cautiously, but their small, wicked presence didn’t bother her. They always gathered around dead bodies anyway.
It was the one night a year when mortals were reminded of her existence.
The wisps gained courage and dared to approach the body of the misguided aristocrat - a pompous CEO of a business he never worked for. They toyed and mocked what was left of his soul before they would leave and show it the wrong path to the afterlife.
Asami paid no attention to their ritual. It wasn’t her intention to meddle in the business of the spirits this evening and she already got what she wanted.
She laid the chalice down on the forest floor. The rim was stained with crimson and the swirling blood reflected the moonlight perfectly. She kneeled down next to it, taking a deep breath and running her finger along the edge of the steel goblet. Her hand tingled with the wicked magic she conjured.
Her lips pursed up into a smile as she brought the chalice up and drank. It was as stone-cold as the moon that had blessed it.
When she next looked back around her, the wisps were gone, but in the distance, she could feel their malicious laughter. The aristocrat would never find his way out of the woods.
His corpse’s face was frozen in a state of shock. They always like it when she pretends to listen to their boasts and so innocently asks them to escort her home. But they never like it when they finally see her scarlet eyes and gleaming fangs.
She wiped the last few traces of blood off her lips, running her tongue over her teeth. The drink was thick and metallic, but tonight she could feel it flowing through her veins.
On Hallow’s Eve, the woods were brimming with activity. The darkness gave nothing away, but through the breeze she could feel it all. Wraiths roamed where they couldn’t be seen, but their wails echoed faintly, camouflaged by the rustling trees. Somewhere she could feel tormented ghouls plead for mercy from unlucky victims, not realizing they were killing the mortals with their begging grapples. Without a doubt, this was the time every malicious spirit rose from the grave.
As she stood, she cast one last glance at the aristocrat’s body. Though his soul was long lost, this lifeless shell may well soon be found by a necromancer roaming the woods, and be animated once more. What torturous biddings it would do was none of her business.
Asami was ready to head back when she noticed a faint glow out of the corner of her eye. A wisp was back, and it started wandering through the trees around her.
Wisps never appeared without reason. It sensed something. Another tormented soul was to be released and the wisp was searching for it.
The moon was still high in the sky and she traipsed after it for a while. She passed faint silhouettes in the night - white auras that cried quietly as they walked by her. She kept her head down, knowing not to meet the wailing glance of the wraiths. They would not hesitate to pull her with them.
It wasn’t long before the wisp became two, then four, then a cluster of flickering, wavering lights roaming the woods. The wind’s howls started to change. She was hearing something else.
Someone, or something, was grunting. A guttural, growling sound echoed faintly. She didn’t need to strain in order to follow it - the wisps were leading her right to it.
She came to a clearing. Her eyes took a moment to focus, trying to understand what was happening under the crowd of cackling spirits. They were waiting, impatiently. It wasn’t often they tried to mislead such a powerful soul into the depth of the forest, and the satisfying torment of it all was what they sought.
Asami walked forward, shooing the evil ghosts. They feared her blood magic and obeyed, but stayed circling around the edge of the clearing, watching intently.
The vampire met eyes with the writhing beast. Its glance was contorted and pained as it struggled to stand, unable to. Its snout wrinkled into another growl, but its panting slowed once it realized Asami wasn’t trying to kill it.
Her eyes drifted down the werewolf’s body to the blade lodged into its side. The silver seeped through the beast.
Blood splatters littered the forest floor but they weren’t all lycan. The smell of human blood reeked through the clearing and she understood the werewolf had fought a monster hunter.
Asami grabbed the hilt of the silver dagger and in one swift motion pulled it out. The werewolf howled, sending the wisps into a frenzy but the vampire remained still.
Blood spurted out of the wound, and she brought her hands together to cover it until the werewolf’s flesh quickly healed. It left nothing more than a nasty scar. The wisps scattered in disappointment.
The beast stood. Its yellow eyes regarded Asami for a few moments and a low, croaky growl escaped its throat. The vampire smirked, standing up to it. In its full height, the werewolf towered over her, its shoulders large and broad with enough power to hurl tree trunks far into the night.
The wind ruffled its dark fur and she could see the blood stains across its snout. In all its intimidating glory, she had no reason to fear it. It only looked at her curiously. Monsters like her were immune to her vampiric charms, and yet she had managed to hold its attention nevertheless.
“Sometimes you have to wonder,” the vampire said, her smooth, silky voice making the werewolf’s ears twitch. “Maybe they’re right to kill us.”
The beast’s panting paused for a moment as it looked out at the puddles of human blood it left in its wake.
“Or maybe we’re right to kill them,” Asami mused. As grand as the werewolf looked, she couldn’t help but chuckle. They were both just as beastly.
In the distance, the sound of howls resonated through the woods. The werewolf’s ears pricked up as it howled back, and in an instant had dashed away into the trees.
Asami looked out into the darkness for a few more moments, before leaving the silver blade behind and making her way back home.
Monday rolled around again and she was back to the grind of things. She took her laptop bag and headed out on her way to work.
The crowds of commuters flocked to the subway station, and she blended in like she always had.
She came up the stairs from her station, crossing the road and into the cafe round the corner. She waited in line, feeling the pulse of every mortal standing next to her as she eyed the list of coffees above the counter.
When her turn came, she walked up, mindlessly parroting the same thing she always had before looking up at the barista.
There was no denying the hint of the snarl she recognized.
“Is that all?” she asked.
Asami paused for a moment. “Yes. That’s all.”
She gave her name and waited. The mortals were oblivious to the creatures that walked among them.
The barista called out for her, drink in hand. Her voice had the same ring as the howl she knew.
She took her drink and their glances met. The blue eyes she looked into shone with familiarity and she couldn’t help smiling at her.
The barista gave her a wolfish grin. “You could lure people to their death with that smirk,” she said. She had no doubt she recognized her too.
Asami looked down at the number she wrote on the lid of her drink. She only smiled wider and replied in the same honeyed voice as that night.
“And yet you’re taking the risk.”
For a single moment, Korra caught sight of the tiny hint of red in the woman’s eyes, but when she looked back up they were green again.
“I think you’re the one taking the risk,” she said, her voice cackling with the hint of a growl, making Asami chuckle as she went on her way.